Haikyuu !!: why has the animation style changed


The daring journey of the Karasuno High School volleyball team to Haikyu!! it was captured in dynamic animation. The company Production IG has prepared exciting matches and funny comedic moments in the anime. The third season of Haikyuu!! It ended with Karasuno finally making it to the National Championship, a dream they had been working tirelessly towards for three seasons.

Season 4 was a turning point for the team, the beginning of their participation in the national championships. This momentous event was also animated in a new animation style. Fears that the action won’t be as exciting as in previous seasons have started to grow, as this season is more important than ever now that the boys have become national.

Why the change?

Apparently, the producer is Haikyuu!! I wanted the art style to be more similar to the manga drawing style. The manga and Season 4 have a simpler art style than seasons 1-3. Apparently, many animation studios create anime that closely resemble the drawing style of their original manga in order to seem more interesting. As a result, Haikyu!! getting the same treatment may not be a surprise.

New employee

From 2014 to 2016 Susumu Mitsunaka (“Weathering with You” and “Detective Conan: The Bride of Halloween”) He was the director of Haikyuu!!. After three seasons, Mitsunaka retired and handed over the leadership to Masako Sato. Sato has worked on projects such as “Howl’s Walking Castle”, “Gone with the Ghosts” and the film “Naruto Shippuden”. Before Haikyuu!!, her only known directorial project is Anima Yell!. Chief animation Director Takahiro Chiba has also left Haikyuu!!. Chiba has worked on key animation for such anime as “Blue Exorcist”, “Naruto” and “Love Hina” and many others. Yu Kobayashi (“Steel Alchemist: Brotherhood”, “Spy x Family” and “Fairy Tail”) was subsequently promoted from key animation to chief animation Director in season 4.

After the key employees left the anime, the new end result of season 4 undoubtedly upset the fans a little. Sato used to work with major studios such as Production I.G and Ghibli, so one would expect a certain level of creativity and passion to be invested in Haikyuu. Sato has also worked in small roles in previous anime seasons, so she’s not new to this project. Like Sato, Kobayashi previously worked on Haikyuu!!, however, he is acting as the main animation director for the first time.

Reception of fans

By all accounts, the original artistic style is preferable to the new one. One of the Quora participants noted that the classic quarrels of Hinata and Kageyama still prevail in the fourth season, so at least the character traits of the character have not changed. Another expressed the opinion that the art style is very well suited for manga, but does not transfer very well to anime, since the characters in the fourth season look more “flat and cartoonish”.

One of the Reddit users said that the action is not as dynamic as one would expect, given that two important employees have resigned. Since many employees from previous seasons are still on board, familiarity with the anime is obvious, but the lack of experience of some employees is excusable, since season 4 is still a pleasure. Another user said that fans are too critical of season 4. It’s hard to maintain the perfection of seasons 1-3, but the action sequences of the fourth season were still exciting. In general, fans perceived the new style of animation ambiguously. While some were more open to the new direction in which the series was developing, others, as expected, were more critical of the changes.

Sources: Quora; IMDb; SakugaBlog; Reddit; CB


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